At any point in time, there are more than 10 trending topics on Twitter and, naturally, brands want in on that action.
For many brands, trending has become what an Oscar used to be for Leonardo DiCaprio – elusive.
The race to be the most relevant brand on social media usually involves trolling the timelines of popular users and scouring Urban Dictionary for culturally-specific terms to get a better idea of what the ‘cool kids’ are up to. This form of ‘research’ is then ambitiously incorporated into content. Not so cool.
For instance, the misuse of the word uMswenko by a car brand last year was awkward for all involved, and we all know what a certain stationer did on Women’s Day last year.
Granted, we can also name brands such as Steri Stumpie among the few exceptions. They brilliantly bent the rules of the International Olympic Committee to create content that rang true to their brand on social media – funny, quirky and entertaining. Durex also manages to find an ‘in’ with their cheeky and humorous content.
Typically, though, social media conversations are sacred and should not be had by brands at all. Many brands have little to no context about the topics they want to engage with. Their participation in the conversation could also be an erasure of everyone else’s voice regarding the topic.
The moment a brand takes part in a conversation they were never invited to have, they become the gatecrasher that interrupts a speech to ask if everyone is ready to party.
How do you avoid being that guy?
- Take part in conversations your brand has no experience, context or background in.
- Try to get an ‘in’ for your brand by way of tokenism, either through an employee or influencer.
- Base your brand’s content on terms you’ve Googled.
The rules are neither definitive nor limited to these three points, but they are the easiest for any brand to check themselves on. In essence, creating and curating content for your consumers on social media should be a true reflection of your brand’s identity or you’ll find yourself trending for all the wrong reasons.
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